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Chronology of events related to the MSM Policy

Year Event


Announcement of policy change from lifetime deferral to 5 years since last MSM contact


Creation of MSM Deferral Policy Working Group


Submission to Health Canada requesting change from lifetime deferral of MSM donors to a time-bound deferral of 5 years


Panel presentation at Carleton University


Update and presentation to Network of Rare Blood Disorder Organizations (NRBDO)


Joint consultation session with patient groups and members of the LGBTTQ community


Consultation with National Liaison Committee of the Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors


Consultation with patient groups


Consultation with LGBTTQ groups


Ipsos-Reid polling


Discussion paper on donor selection criteria reviewed by panel in international experts


Presentation to Canadian Federation of Students


Presentation to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada


Presentations at various university campuses


Presentations at various university campuses


Trial between Canadian Blood Services and Kyle Freeman will begin in the Superior Court of Ontario in Ottawa


Canadian Blood Services forms national LGBTTQ (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered-two-spirited or queer) working group, whose mandate is to act as a resource for Canadian Blood Services to help educate on the issues and sensitivities of the LGBTTQ community while helping to promote the research agenda.

Canadian Blood Services launches joint research opportunity with the Canadian Institute for Health Research focused on three areas; donor deferral strategies and the risk of blood-borne diseases, policy development and social aspects of blood system risk, and emerging pathogens in specific populations


Canadian Blood Services Board defers pursuing a deferral change while launching research agenda to close the gaps in information identified through the consultations.

(McLaughlin Report) MSM Donor Deferral Risk Assessment: An Analysis using Risk Management Principles


Canadian Blood Services conducted its own epidemiological study of 40,000 donors to evaluate the proportion of donors with deferrable risks. The study was repeated in 2008 with results published internally.

American Red Cross, America's Blood Centres and the AABB recommend to the FDA changing deferral to 1 year for MSM - FDA chose to uphold the indefinite ban stating it was the best way to keep the nation's blood supply safe.

McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment commissioned to conduct risk assessment of MSM donor deferral criteria - did not make recommendations, put forward views for discussion at Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors.


Canadian Blood Services implements nucleic acid amplification testing (NAT) for HIV - greatly reducing the "window period" where the virus is undetectable by test, but not eliminating it.

Canadian Blood Services/Hema-Quebec co-sponsored international consensus conference on optimizing the donor selection process - no recommendation to change criteria due to not enough evidence to implement a change in deferral criteria


Year that the MSM deferral was introduced in blood screening by the Canadian Red Cross via filling out a written questionnaire , a formal consent and confidential unit exclusion form


The first year thousands of Canadians were infected with HIV via tainted blood


The first year a pamphlet was introduced to donors outlining the risk factors for HIV, with the hope that donors would self-exclude.


The year 1977 has been identified as the date when rapid spread of HIV began throughout first world countries such as the United States and Canada.

Men who have sex with men (MSM)
Chronology of events related to the MSM Policy
Letters of Support
Research Funding

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